Red Raiders take over first place in the Big 12 standings with today’s 7-2 win, Baylor’s loss.
Box Score (PDF) | Postgame Notes (PDF)
LUBBOCK, Texas – Junior right-hander Caleb Kilian threw seven strong innings and the bats jumped out to a fast start to fuel No. 8 Texas Tech baseball to a 7-2 win against TCU on Friday night at Rip Griffin Park. The win evens the series with Horned Frogs (29-23, 11-12) and moves the Red Raiders (35-15, 15-8) into sole possession of first place in the Big 12 standings with one game remaining.
Sophomore outfielder Gabe Holt led off the bottom of the first with a solo shot, while Kurt Wilson and Parker Kelly hit back-to-back shots in the fourth to push the Red Raiders to a 5-1 lead through four.
That would prove more than enough for Kilian (8-2), who struck out seven on his way to his eighth win of the season. The Flower Mound, Texas, native has been victorious in eight of his last nine starts, including seven of his eight league outings.
Holt and junior Brian Klein paced the Red Raider offense with three hits each. Holt homered in the first and scored again in the third on a double from sophomore Dylan Neuse. Klein followed by knocking in Neuse, the first of two RBI on the day for Klein, to make it 3-1.
The fourth was all about the long ball as Wilson blasted his second dinger of the season over the wall in left. Kelly went deep four pitches later for his first-career home run to make it a 5-1 game.
All three outfielders made defensive highlights on the night, starting with Neuse hosing down a runner at the plate in the second to preserve a 1-0 lead. With one on and one out in the fifth, Wilson made a diving grab in left and ended the frame by doubling off the runner at first. In the ninth, Holt got on his horse to track down a shallow fly ball and made a sliding grab for the second out.
Another key defensive play came in the seventh as TCU put runners at first and second with no outs. TCU’s Conner Shepherd drove a grounder up the middle that junior Josh Jung was able to glove and flip to Klein to engineer a double play. The Frogs went on to score a run in the frame, but the twin killer minimized the damage to keep Tech in front 7-2.
The Red Raiders immediately answered back in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Klein and tacked on another in the eighth as catcher Braxton Fulford beat out a double play to score a run from third. The sac fly from Klein was his eighth of the year, tied for third-most in the nation.
Frog shortstop Adam Oviedo led TCU at the plate, going 3-for-3, while leadoff man Josh Watson hit a solo home run in the third. Starter Charles King (4-3) took the loss, giving up six runs on nine hits in six innings.